I was recently talking with a client who shared an awareness that was coming up during conversations she was having with her clients and other coaches and therapists. A theme was emerging related to the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home and social distancing orders. What was becoming obvious was that both individually and collectively, people were experiencing a lack of joy.

lack of joy

It appears that many—if not most—people are not feeling joy, which is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness,” even in things that normally would bring them great joy.  

More Joy, Less Pain: You Can Heal Your Life 

I am a huge fan of Louise Hay and her book called You Can Heal Your Life. In her book, she shows the thought patterns related to what our bodies are telling us. I happened to have a copy of her book beside me one day when I was working with a client who presented with extreme back pain. My intuition told me that I should look up back pain and share the information with my client.  

Here’s what we learned…

Problem:  Back pain 

Probable Cause:  Represents the support to life.

New Thought Pattern:  I know life always supports me.

Indeed, this client was not feeling supported in her current situation. She started using this new thought pattern to help her change her perspective, and she experienced relief from the back pain. I have used this work in conjunction with the Emotional Energetic Repatterning tools and techniques for years, and have seen over and over that by changing thoughts, one changes their reality, their bodies and their life. 

It is my belief that we have multiple levels of experiences and that our bodies are always signaling us as to what needs to be revealed and healed. Through my experience, what happens socially and emotionally starts to develop in the energetic body. If there is enough disruption in the energetic body, and it’s not taken care of, body chemistry will start to break down, creating issues with diet, illnesses, etc. Ultimately, it becomes something physical, and the physical body responds. 

You Can Heal Your Life is a valuable resource and one that I often suggest. If you start to manifest something, you can look the ailment up and see what the body might be telling you.

What COVID-19 Could Be Trying To Tell Us 

In my recent pilot UPROOT class, I introduced Hay’s work as it relates to the COVID-19 virus. We looked up “virus” together. 

Here’s what we learned…

Problem: Viral Infections 

Probable Cause:  Lack of joy flowing through life. Bitterness.  

New Thought Pattern:  I lovingly allow joy to flow freely in my life. I love me.  

Ah ha! There it was again. A lack of joy…

Looking at the thought patterns or what might be happening, on a global scale, we have been bombarded with news, deaths, uncertainties and fears. We have had to reorganize what we thought to be true about who we are and what we do. It has created great wariness, anger and bitterness for many.  

Hay’s book gives us something to ponder. In thinking about this—lack of joy flowing through life—I’ve wondered how many of us were flowing and flourishing in our lives prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Personally, I know that I wasn’t fully flowing through life prior to this. I was overwhelmed, frustrated with technology, fearful about the divide in our country, and worried about how I was going to get everything done. And, I know that I wasn’t alone in that. I think many of us were using a lot of reactive tendencies rather than the responsive techniques that help us flow with life and experience joy. Rather, we were pushing; we were forcing; we were trying to make things happen.  

In terms of the pandemic, and per our health in general, Hay offers us much to think about. We’re all dealing with a lot in the waves and wake of COVID-19, and a lot of that is showing up in and coming through the body. 

Foreboding Joy 

In research professor and author Brené Brown’s work, she says one of the most interesting pieces of the research she’s spent decades undertaking is the connection between joy and gratitude. In an interview by Oprah with Brené on Super Soul Sunday, Oprah says, “the cultivation of gratitude and joy is the way home.” You have to work at it because it is not the attitude of gratitude that works. It is the practice of gratitude that creates the shift. There is no joy without gratitude.

Another of Brené’s  findings in her research is that of foreboding joy. When I first heard her talk about this topic, I was amazed at the truth of her findings. She says, “when you lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding.”

Here is my example of foreboding joy… 

As I write the outline for this blog, I am in my morning practice of journaling. I do not leave my bed until I have written three handwritten pages in my journal. Every morning, my Lucky, a white Bichon pup lays with me until I get up to feed him. This dog is one of the great loves of my life. Lucky is snoring. I listen to his breathing and recognize that he is 15-years-old and that he may not be with us much longer. Every day, I have the foreboding feeling that he will die soon and I do not know how I will deal with it. 

Brené shares this story about our children. We love them so much, but in that moment of pure love and joy, we often turn to what terrible thing could happen to them. Brené says, “we dress rehearse tragedy so we can beat vulnerability to the punch.”  

Does anyone relate to these feelings of a lack of joy or foreboding joy? 

The Cultivation Of Gratitude

The antidote to foreboding joy and feeling a lack of joy is gratitude. Gratitude is not just an attitude; it is a practice. We have to be aware, and to practice gratitude as much as possible. I was told a story about a wife who every morning would get up and find the little seeds from a sesame seed bagel on the counter and on the floor of her kitchen. It was, at first, quite annoying to her that her husband toasted his bagel every morning and left behind the little seeds. While annoying to her for years, the wife decided one day that she would not be annoyed any longer and decided to be grateful instead. She was so grateful that she still had the love of her life with her even in his advanced age. She chose gratitude and love for the situation instead of blame or judgment. This is seemingly a simple task, yet those of us who know those annoying habits of our partners have much to learn from this lovely woman.  

Heal Through Your Thoughts, Energetic Experience And Body

If you’re experiencing either sudden or long-term somatic symptoms that you’re struggling to make sense of and resolve, I’m available to help. Drawing from Hay’s work, we can investigate your symptoms and work with affirmations that I have seen time and again help with healing, as well as utilize Emotional Energetic Repatterning work to clear your social and emotional conditioning. It is possible to relieve symptoms, experience joy again and begin thriving rather than just surviving in these still uncertain and unprecedented times. 

And, if you, like some many of us, are struggling with a lack of joy in your life, please come back to Hay’s affirmation again and again. “I lovingly allow joy to flow freely in my life. I love me.”  

Wishing joy to all,